These wholesale prices for .io domains are simply ridiculous

What the hell are you doing people? These wholesale prices for .io domains are simply ridiculous!

You are paying $2k-$5k for bad one-word domains in .io? By bad domains I mean domains that don’t go well with .io AND/OR are unlikely to be chosen by startups as brand names.

I noticed that the domain name was sold for $11,338 in a backorder auction. Here are all 4-figure and 5-figure the .io sales from the past month according to 3,755 USD 17/9/2020 3,488 USD 15/9/2020 2,600 USD 15/9/2020 2,000 USD 14/9/2020 4,330 USD 12/9/2020 Sedo 7,777 USD 10/9/2020 28,888 USD 9/9/2020 1,630 USD 8/9/2020 3,499 USD 3/9/2020 Sedo 2,457 USD 3/9/2020 5,000 USD 1/9/2020 Sedo 3,387 USD 1/9/2020 10,790 USD 31/8/2020 Sedo 49,995 USD 30/8/2020 DomainBooth 3,574 USD 30/8/2020 4,250 USD 26/8/2020 Efty 13,000 USD 25/8/2020 Sedo 3,500 USD 25/8/2020 Flippa 2,500 USD 25/8/2020 2,000 USD 25/8/2020 Flippa 1,125 USD 23/8/2020 3,753 USD 22/8/2020 1,775 USD 20/8/2020

Are you really paying 4 and 5 figures in wholesale for a 2nd or 3rd tier extension when the average .com sales price is less than $5k? for $3,755 and for $3,488 in wholesale? Why? Am I missing something here? Because I don’t see many sales over $10k to justify these prices. And must be sold for at least $40k-$50k to make any sense in ROI.

In the past year I see no sales over that sale for $49,995. Here are the 5-figure .io sales from the past 12 months: 49,995 USD 30/8/2020 DomainBooth 48,500 USD 5/7/2020 Page Clinic 39,750 USD 4/11/2019 28,888 USD 9/9/2020 28,888 USD 9/7/2020 28,888 USD 11/2/2020 25,000 USD 11/12/2019 22,500 USD 27/7/2020 22,500 USD 16/2/2020 RapidNames 20,000 USD 10/10/2019 14,988 USD 12/4/2020 Pvt Sale 14,500 USD 26/4/2020 Morgan Linton 14,000 USD 2/8/2020 GritBrokerage 13,000 USD 25/8/2020 Sedo 12,000 USD 10/10/2019 11,918 USD 4/2/2020 Sedo 11,397 USD 14/7/2020 Sedo 11,323 USD 13/8/2020 11,279 USD 9/3/2020 Sedo 10,790 USD 31/8/2020 Sedo 10,001 USD 17/12/2019 10,000 USD 21/6/2020 Afilias 10,000 USD 28/2/2020 UltraDomains 10,000 USD 25/2/2020 10,000 USD 2/2/2020 Uniregistry 10,000 USD 2/2/2020 Uniregistry

And these are the top 10 .io sales of all time according to NameBio: 68,000 USD 10/6/2019 67,000 USD 28/9/2018 60,000 USD 20/11/2016 49,995 USD 30/8/2020 DomainBooth 48,500 USD 5/7/2020 Page Clinic 45,000 USD 29/5/2015 Flippa 40,000 USD 15/5/2018 Sedo 39,750 USD 4/11/2019 30,000 USD 8/1/2018 30,000 USD 19/12/2017

These sales don’t justify paying 5-figures for a .io domain in a backorder auction. I mean “imagine” is a popular word but “sun” or “cloud” are a lot better and sold for less than $50k.

(There has been mention of end-users bidding in these auctions but I don’t think this is so widespread. And even if there was one end-user there was also a domainer pushing the end-user to these prices.)

In July 2018 Art Malkov wrote a guest post on about .io domains. I wonder what he thinks now about the wholesale market and the end-user market.

Making money with .io domains

I don’t doubt that you can make money by selling .io domains. But you have to purchase them at the right price! And the right price is well below what people are paying these days.

You do understand that you are now officially in a bubble? Somebody is going to get stuck holding many overpriced domains.

There domains will have a very low ROI (if any) and with renewals at $30+ they are not the easiest to keep as inventory.

Also there is a chance that .io will go out of fashion within startups or something else will happen. Maybe the British Indian Ocean Territory stops being a country??? Or Afilias that bought the .io registry (Internet Computer Bureau) for $70 million in 2018 increases .io domain renewals by x10.

I know I am not going to be the most popular guy between .io domainers and .io marketplaces but I had to call it as I see it. If you got in early in .io domains then you lucky for sure but this seems like a good time to cash out.


About Konstantinos Zournas

I studied Computer Engineering and Computer Science in London, UK and I am now living in Athens, Greece. I went online in 1995, started coding in 1996 and began buying domain names and creating websites in 2000. I started the blog in 2012.


  1. I agree it’s absurd. It’s a strange TLD, but that’s my opinion.
    This is wholesale market, as you pointed out.
    It’s telling us something. domainers are giving up on .com. They are desperately looking for any reason to invest in something other than .com. It’s a herd mentality too, they believe they won’t get ostracized for paying higher and higher .io prices because fellow domainers are doing it. ‘Bandwagon’. A lot of sites do use IO…though, it’s actually rather meaningless to the average person.

    Every time a person see a non-com, another nail is driven in the coffin. Soon, real soon, .com won’t be perceived as ‘necessary’ at all, if this keeps up (it will).

    It doesn’t stop with IO. Rather, it started here.

    The ‘COM is king’ idealogy is being delegitimized with every non-com adoption. Domainers will be the last ones on earth to believe their own chant.

    The exact opposite of what they think will happen will actually happen. They think .com will be the ‘de facto’, that everyone aspires to have. Not. It will be generic, old, and unsavvy. It will be the last thing someone wants to be known for. It will seem shameful. This is how things go. Look at the tulip mania. People will adopt the ‘most ridiculous’ things to escape tyranny.

    Soon it will be .COMrs who are the ones that get laughed in the face. Oh, how the tables will turn.

    • Konstantinos Zournas

      No. Domainers are not giving up on .com! How did you jump to this strange conclusion???

      • While every aspect of the aftermarket booms…

        30-100% y/o/y website growth per wix, WordPress and others.
        30-40% y/o/y year premium nTLD sales via registry reports.
        Similar growth in some cctlds (including io apparently).
        I’m sure there’s more – there’s a burst of new interest in the domaining and realated industries, all around.

        I do not wish to cite the above (too much work) but it’s been reported.

        But .com? The aftermarket rolled over. shows us MOST aftermarket .com sales…drop catch auctions being a big tell for us (largely domainer market).

        This is all the evidence you should need. These numbers ARE indicative of the market. This IS the domaining market. There are not many ‘secret’ domainer > domainer transactions going. The domainer > domainer market is very open and transparent.

        The highlighted is not variance or COVID related (remember everything else selling BETTER). It’s deer stuck in the headlights. It shows you, domainers gave up. Dig deep. It is not simply lack of ‘big sales’. It won’t recover from what I’ve highlighted.

      • Konstantinos Zournas

        What you write doesn’t mean that .com is not kicking ass. It was always kicking ass and .com still has growth after all this success.
        .Com is light years ahead of the competition.

        You do understand that we keep loosing data points for aftermarket sales… The latest we lost was Uniregistry. Now maybe GoDaddy will soon start reporting sales from June 2020 in a few days.

      • Sorry but this is nonsense. The real competition to .com comes from established ccTLDs, and they rather complement it than compete with it.

        As an experiment you should pull out your browsing history for any given day, and run a breakdown of visited domain names by extension. Seriously, what are the big sites that you visit very regularly, possibly every day. I would be surprised if most of them are .io or .whatever.

        Just to be clear, Wix and the neoregistries sure sell a lot of crap, but it has near-zero VISIBILITY and zero mindshare. Everybody can create a blog nowadays with 5 followers (familiy) and 99% bot traffic.

        The art of domaining is the ability to tell the meaningful numbers and trends from the background noise.

        Let’s be honest: if nTLD sales are booming like you seem to suggest, have they become any more mainstream or noticeable than they were ? Are they a good investment (hint: check out ? The needle didn’t move. Little has changed really.

      • Let me tell you, I have many of my own websites.

        The ‘hard data’, mainly CTR for NEW domains would embarrass any .com.

        I have sites that get 10, 20, 30% ctr from page 2-10.

        This is unheard of. .COM could never. The writing on the wall. These new domains outperform in practice.

        So you just stick to your conjecture: “No traffic” “leaked traffic” “users won’t know” “will forget” etc.

        Actual statistics ruin your narratives.

        Even the few that won’t disagree with the above, go on to say ‘google doesn’t matter’. I just laugh. I think you’re a fraud. Kate.

        You’re the one that wrote ‘google gives preference to keyword .coms’? You legit wrote that on your site. We know it’s BS. The same kate that ‘reported’ “cbd oil will recover the $500k within 6 months”? It’s been 18 months. Look at it it. What happened? Oh you’ll just pimp anything, regardless of who writes it – as long as it fits your narrative.

        I do think you’re the nonsense. You running with the idea that just anyone can take a .com and make $500k in 6 months proves to me that you’re clueless.

        I’ve challenged anyone like you that i’ve come across to put their .com against my NTLD in practice. We’ll put up exact same site, SEO optimized (I really know what im doing). Then let them sit for 6 months. That’s all it will take.

        Then you’d learn first hand. .COM is in big trouble.

        In the right hands, new domains blow even the best .coms out of the water. Things are developing fast. Perceptions have changed. Awareness is here. It’s just now building.

        Of course, you’ll just call me a liar like everyone else. Great. And you wont put any skin via my challenge neither.

        In that case, you have nothing but conjecture. I have facts. You have nothing. Nonsense. Put up a .com. You’ll find out.

      • Konstantinos Zournas

        1. How many new gtld websites do you have and how many .com websites?

        2. I have proof that websites are leaking traffic and emails. Do you have proof that websites are NOT leaking traffic?

      • I’m too tired to do any more today. Here’ ponder:

        Google results. Top sales (English stuff)

        When these get developed, even with mini content, they rank high for EMD. There are 1000’s of competitors for these terms. We know content is king. But domain matters too. These are succeeding. It takes time, content etc. The domain is a huge asset to them. Without such nice domains, they would not rank so high.

        There is so much to explain, but domaining can’t accept the facts right in their face, so it’s hard to explain the intricacies. Really just arguing with the deaf, dumb and blind. I really do think that.

        Unwilling to advance.

        * online casino (page 6)
        * vacation rentals (page 3)
        * home loans (page 1)
        free games (parked)
        the club (forward)
        * shop app (#1) (parked)

        Consider these top sales in context. Can you objectively say they would achieve these positions with *ANY* domain?

        I dare you.

      • Konstantinos Zournas

        Can you prove they couldn’t achieve the same or better results with a .com?

      • Also I know they leak some traffic. It is not large amount. The benefits of nTLD outweigh it.

        But you can’t even realize the benefits.

        Also, I noticed earlier you put my comments under moderation.

        I don’t like being restricted while you play moderator. I have posted here enough, I do think that I will leave.

        Have fun holding your user comments back.

        Maybe moderate Kate too. Make it so it’s unfair for everyone.

      • That Wix she ripped on, that’s just ONE part. My point is in EVERY aspect – NOT just WIX. You just want to *pick on one little thing*, when it’s the WHOLE gambit that I COULD cite. And you’re going to selectively trash WIX for what it is…

        Im arguing with people that have the rational capacity of a children!!!! Selective, bias, and fake. None of you can accept the fact. You’re playing GAMES and fooling yourselves!

        I won’t tell you how many sites and all this. It’s rather private too. You don’t DESERVE it anyways…Hence, the challenge. I’m not gonna get taunted then smashed ‘FAKE’ after I provide time and time again! I have put YEARS in. It’s time for SKIN. It’s almost no work on your behalf. The results will be crystal clear…That is, if you even understand what you’re looking for/at!

        I provide data and *EVERY* .COM has called it FAKE. It’s absolutely offensive and I’m just waiting for SOMEONE to -try me-. I’m tired of wasting my time and being disrespected after I put up. Now it’s YOU that puts up a .com, and me the nTLD. We will do a 100% objective study, your own analytics and everything. What more can you ask? See for yourself.

        But you’re just basing everything on FEELINGS. You don’t think the following data is indicative of ANYTHING.

        This data in screenshot below is extracted from Google console. This is not faked it is not bots. Anyone that builds a website, knows these stats are not normal. I can actually understand why people would think I’m faking this. I mean 34/34 100% clicks from position #2.

        50% of searches don’t even result in a click in the first place!

        The story is in the data! What people see and how they react is RIGHT there!! You can f’off with your bs conjecture “people don’t see this as a domain” LMFO!!!!!!

        Don’t mind the low traffic. Its high competition and new development etc. Don’t mind me not showing the strings – they are not important. The numbers are.

        The VOLUME of data doesn’t matter. It’s a fine little sample size. The STORY that data tells is what’s important. If you don’t get it, you don’t deserve to be questioning me. The domain *IS* doing its job. And if you know squat, .COM could NEVER hit those numbers.

        Where the bullet meets the bone, your .com will suddenly look comparatively STUPID.

        In front of everyone now, bring a fair .com, to inspect the methods with a microscope. I am SICK and tired of being accused of doing some underhanded things to achieve the results that I do.

        I’m willing to do this again against ANYONE that has a .com. Right now, fresh from the start. See for yourself – I’ve found it’s the ONLY way.

        It needs to be a term with search volume. I can’t do just any junk. We aren’t going to play with Not just ANYTHING will work. Like if you have It will be rather difficult for me to acquire, but I might be able to think up something reasonable anyways.

        You may work with me and learn today (bring your doomed .com). Or, if not, we can shut up and walk separate ways! You have EVERYTHING to gain by me walking away because I am the ones trashing your FAKE ideas. You’re ones FOOLING people. It’s SAD. We can’t even get past BASICS. You aren’t close to grasping what is ABOUT TO transpire! You don’t even see it coming *AT ALL* because you can’t accept the realities of today!!! Deflect! That’s all you do.

        You reject data for your ‘FEELINGS’. You’re stuck in the past! You fail to see the REASONS why I invest, and -even what an investment is-. Namebio TODAY ‘shows’ .com is faltering. Whatever nTLD is doing, doesn’t matter about that. What I said is a FACT. Explore ‘WHY’!

        In time, you’ll just look like an even bigger idiot, the longer you hold on! All of domaining WONT KNOW WHY what is happening, is happening!

        Things changed. And you’re all very wrong in your arguments. Everything is against you. I have so much to say, but we can’t even accept the most basic facts around here.

        It’s time, mano a mano. Bring your .com. If not, I’ll just say: STAY BLISS!

      • This Lifesavings guy admitted previously that he’d never actually sold a New TLD, take his commentary with a huge grain of salt.

    • Konstantinos Zournas

      This is your own wishful thinking. And I keep hearing it from 5-10 people for almost 20 years now.
      Nothing has changed. New GTLDs are only making .com and (real country) ccTLDs stronger. People see a New gTLD and think: “WTF is that?”.

  2. I have felt the same way, you have to buy right, hopefully cheap, I got for $97.99 and sold for $4,999 I would not have paid $2,000 because like you say you need to hold on for $20,000 – $30,000. I paid $58.99 and sold to an end user that has a nice site. But .io is not focus and would not spend $5,000 for a name that is probably what an end user would pay for the name.

  3. I never quite understood the .io fad, and indeed surprisingly high prices are still being paid for those, when there are many better ccTLDs to choose from.

    Indeed the future of .io is quite uncertain in light of international developments. That makes it a high-risk proposal. Countries disappear, and a few country extensions have been retired before. More will follow in the future. At least invest in a real country.

    And Diego Garcia is a very sad story. Seems to me that the TLD should even be boycotted.

  4. Konstantinos Zournas

    Comments with more than 1 link go into moderation automatically. Do you think I make your comments go into moderation only to approve them a minute later? You are being crazy. Better calm down.
    If you want to leave, you can leave. I really don’t like this fake drama.

    • No, that’s fine. I’m sorry for jumping to that conclusion. Your blog does automatically with links. That’s sensible.

      I posted a big long one above. Obviously this post evolved beyond just the topic.

      I stand. I can build a site optimized for 2 like domains (.com and a respective nTLD), and PROVE everything we should need to know. It’s important the site is designed for what is brung to the table.

      Honestly would appreciate something between 500-5000 searches a month, because I have a good chance of buying nTLD in that range.

      One example of a site I run tests on right now, a brand new development (I am putting up test sites and removing them all of the time – so that I learn how they perform) is

      ‘Seafood recipes’ gets about 12k a month. It is a nice case study::: tangent terms get WAY MORE. Ex: ‘shrimp recipes’ (and others) are 100k+ month.

      On the topic of results beyond the EMD terms, I have positive data already too.

      I couldn’t have asked for a better case study in the case of for this purpose though.

      I just have a lot more on my table than ‘seafood recipes’, but I will drop anything to do my challenge. I can build the site. You control the analytics. You can have access to the site. There’s nothing I can do which you can’t see.

      Buying traffic etc won’t do anything and we can set up so u can see everything. 100%, I’m not a scammer that could do something like sending bots to google. I don’t mess with bots. Although, I do expect to be dismissed a cheat before anyone tries to actually lift a finger on their own.

      This is what I like someone to bring, But there are other things we can do too, I can even do 1 word .com if I can get a bang-on ending for it…doubtful, those are long gone.

      Supprised, no one else has done this? Everyone is *SO SURE* that nTLD don’t blow .com out of the water???? Ahh…maybe it’s time to open your eyes?

      This is NEW developments. .COMs you see are LONG established. So much to say…ugh. No one can see what is really happening, and why these are only now starting to take off. Every argument is BACKWARDS. The narrative surrounding is flawed.

      Example: “there are 1000 nTLD”

      That’s why we shouldn’t invest?

      I say, the fact there are 1000 IS EXACTLY the reason it’s working (when 10 didn’t).

      NOW there are endings to match MANY websites (almost everyone has a perfect ending)! ALMOST all endusers have the exact option to choose! It feels fair!

      When there were 10, the space didn’t provide for many exacts. It wasn’t adapted in a BIG way, all around. Because the fact only a few could even consider it as ‘bang on’ suiting! Never created the ‘bandwagon’ effect. It COULDN’T go mainstream because literally the options were too few! The opposite of what you think! The value isn’t IN ‘GENERIC’ (as is .com) anymore!!!! Everything around should lead you to agree!

      This is NOT about being generic. It’s about a perfect and exacting relation across the dot. Within 1000 nTLD, there are extremely FEW domains that do that! The ‘perfect’ options that people *will come* to desire are FEW. *WILL COME* : imperative idea. That’s what makes this investment!

      When more people are going for it (they are), suddenly, the whole IDEA is fire. It will turn into a viral effect. The results are profound. I wish we were far enough ahead as a group of domainers to discuss the details, but we are stuck without having taken a baby step! Anyway, without 1000, this all wouldn’t even happen!

      My problem is I think everything you believe is wrong. You see, I need to prove some stuff and walk you along. Again though, stay BLISS! We’ll see. Then I won’t be around. That’s what I am. I am not here to stand on a throne. I am here to help you get to where I am.

  5. Since my last post i have certainly seen wholesale market for .io domain names heat up. Names that would go in the summer of 2018 for 1k, now go for 3-5k on aftermarket. Is this rational? i am not sure, but as long as we see large sales pop up on horizon i dont think we will see decrease in prices. I personally mostly out of wholesale .io market at the moment, unless i see a great deal which almost never the case with . To summarize ,my .io portfolio has grown over the years and i have had enough sales to keep acquiring when the price is right.

  6. @

    “I think you’re a fraud. Kate.””
    Thats not very nice ,mate ,you better apologise .
    You seem to be fighting [and accusing] with everybody ,[Namepros]
    Be humble and let people do and think their own things.

    • She writes totally deceptive things on her site.

      She wrote ‘COM’ gets preference in google.

      You can’t go much lower.

      Yes, the guy that keeps saying 6 figure sales happen EVERY day. He’s wrong too. I called him an idiot. So what He is. No one is calling out YOUR bullshit.

      I’m working hard, providing truth, and its YOU guys/girls TELLING THE LIES!!

      I should let you all fail. You’re frauds! You’re lying to endusers. You’re lying to yourselves. You can’t even tell BIGGER lies than what I wrote above.

      CLAIMING 6 figure sales on .com @ namepro happen EVERYDAY (PRO TAG). 100% trash.

      If they happened “EVERY DAY”, yes he wrote caps, there would be 2-3 MOST days. 100% UNTRUE. You’re LAIRS.

      F’ YOU! Seriously. That’s wrong. I’m right. you’re the idiot liars/frauds.

      I get PUSHED out for STANDING up.

      But when it’s time to PROVE something – NO BALLS! Think about it. You’re FRAUDS, yes. And your’e fooling the UNKNOWING. All you can do is BAN me. I TROUNCE you. And you deserve it.

    • I am so ready to just leave the whole industry to their own cess.

      “let people… think their own things.”

      This is your position? ‘LET THEM’ Lie, if they believe it’s true, it’s okay?

      Who believes google gives preference to .com endings for search engine results?
      Who believes there are absolutely 6 fig sales EVERY Day, and in fact, .com *ACTUALLY* makes up 99.99%+ of 6 fig sales?

      And before you rush to lift your hand remember, LESS than 90% of 6 fig sales reported on on namebio are com. SO, where are the other 20million 6 fig .sales at?

      Don’t play COY. You all know better.

      This is going to turn out the whole industry vs me again. I’m going to fight an onslaught of lies and have to fight your FAVORITE retort in the end, “everyone does it” (the lies and fraud). Yes. That is an excuse over at namepros.

      Yep, you’re ALL right…good for you for all agreeing to be jerkoffs. Nothing wrong if everyone’s along!

      • I can go on and on about domaining. In Kates case here, I POINTED OUT her error over twitter, having seen her PROMOTING her NEW page of lies. I -never- spoke to her before.

        Did she fix it, or ask what I meant? NO. She blocked me instantly! 100% you all want FREEDOM to lie. You’re conventions, blogs, forums and such, all ECHO chambers you’ve created. You’re filth. Disgusting sleaze. Why?

        Because SOON after I called her out FAKE ‘claim’ that .com gets preference out, the next thing the bloggers and forum ran was OLD news “NEWTLD don’t get preference in search”!

        They LAUGHED about it, toed that narrative around.

        Oh HOW NICE. So .comr can say it…

        The industry,(as frank and others have shown) actually *DEFEND* the lies. But will drag the nTLD around though the ringer.

        I know you all piggy-back and perpetuate bullshit all day. And you all believe it! You double standard hypocrites. IM done helping you. Im off this thread. You’re wastes of time.

      • Not trying to start an argument, but you got carried away and it’s pretty obvious you have mistaken me for another person. I am not even on Twitter. I am not Kate Buckley if this is the person you have in mind (otherwise I don’t know who it could be sorry).

        As for the rest I think you are late to the game hence the sour grapes, thus it’s understandable that you don’t have the same perspective as people who were domaining 20 years ago. I am wondering if you have ever sold a domain, just because you haven’t doesn’t mean there isn’t a market. What do you suggest ? Should I invest in .online domains or Frank’s nTLDs with all the risk that entails ?

  7. 1) io is not a new gtld its a cctld (repurposed so what still a cctld)
    2) left of the dot is important.
    3) Limited number of viable options to choose from (.com, net, org, cctlds)
    4) One word commonly known generic words are powerful

    Many newgtld proponents are clueless but is a smart guy, he gets it.

    A new gtld that matches what the user is looking for would get a higher ctr that a non emd .com BUT how about EMD vs My money is on the latter.

    The problem with new gtlds is they are very limited in the ways they can be marketed efficiently due to lack of user awareness, habit etc.

    BUT in SEM they can bring value.

  8. As kate here mocked me over citing growth at wix, calling the folks basically ‘nobody”…

    Implying that I’m a moron/liar ..

    Andrew reports wix growth exploded over 10% total registrations.

    But those are NOBODIES. Ignore such irreverent data which doesn’t suit the narrative.

    Filth. Arrogance. Deceit. Fraud.

    • Konstantinos Zournas

      1. Kate here said she is a different Kate than the one you had some twitter argument with. You just didn’t reply to that.
      2. Wix is mainly a website builder. Of course it is also a registrar and the link you give shows they increased their .com registrations. How does this have anything to do with new gtlds???
      3. There is no narrative unless you call the truth the narrative so things change as to how people view you…

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